by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
FLEXO Magazine : August 2014
Xeikon Trumpets ThermoFlexX Advancements at Ypres Event YPRES, Belgium—With a nod to the past, an appreciation of history, an appetite for the future and the revelations it will bring, Xeikon Prepress welcomed a 10 member cadre of international journalists on July 2 to its factory. There they were briefed on technological break- throughs, recorded in the past two years, culminating in the launch of what executives deemed, “the fastest flexo imager in the world.” Equally important, the machine received billing as, “the highest reso- lution flexo imager in the world.” Christophe Lievens, director of sales and marketing for ThermoF- lexX, unveiled the new product line and offered a guided tour of the 150,000 sq. ft. operation that employs 80, has a production capacity of 400 engines and utilizes three Lean manufacturing lines. Its flexo computer to plate line can produce up to 300 units annually. Growth of 10 percent is forecast. Production should top 400 units in 2018. He explained, “We’ve pushed forward the boundaries of what can be achieved in imager technology and now provide a flexo imager to meet the requirements of almost any printer or trade house. This six model line—TFxX 18, TFxX 20, TFxX 30, TFxX 48, TFxX 60, TFxX 80—rivals anything on the market.” Plate sizes accommodated range from 508-mm ./20-in. x 420-mm./16.5-in., up to 1,270-mm./50-in. x 2,032-mm./80-in. Speeding Forward The new ThermoFlexX 80, demonstrated live at the event, stands as the first completely in house designed and manufactured model in the company’s imager range since Xeikon acquired FlexoLaser in 2012 and incorporates a level of innovation not previously seen in a flexo imager, according to Lievens. A dual head imaging feature enables output speeds of 12 square meters/129 sq. ft. an hour at 2,400 dpi, making the ThermoFlexX 80 the fastest flexo imager in the world. ThermoFlexX provides a greater choice of resolutions than any other flexo imager in the world, with the ability to have all five options on one machine—2,400 dpi, 2,540 dpi, 4,000 dpi, 4,800 dpi and 5,080 dpi. The latter resolution allows halftone screens of 250 lpi, suitable for in- tricate, high quality printing. Depending on the job being sent by the workflow, the ThermoFlexX 80 will automatically select the correct resolution and alter the optics accordingly. Flexible design allows straightforward replacement of any one of the three modules—motor, laser and optic—thus simplifying service and future hardware upgrades. The maximum resolution of 5,080 dpi is the highest on the market. “Our engineers and development teams have incorporated a high degree of automation into the ThermoFlexX 80, from the automatic calibration system that guarantees jobs are always imaged under optimum conditions, to the ability for the operator to load and unload plates at the touch of a button,” Lievens noted. “We have examined how to keep waste to a minimum at all times and this latest imager is fitted with a sensor that will automatically check that the thickness and size of the plate on the drum is correct for the job about to be exposed. “ To overcome the need to handle plates manually—one of the main causes of plate damage—we have created the Flextray,” he continued. “ This mobile table can be adjusted easily to transport and feed plates into the innovative guiding system, which ensures that even plates as thick as 6.35 -mm ./0.25-in. can be seamlessly mounted on the drum.” All ThermoFlexX imagers utilize IPG fiber lasers operating at 1,064- nm., which combine low energy consumption with high reliability. The imagers will expose any plate with a LAM layer such as flexo, let- terpress and dry offset, as well as digital screen and ablative film. They can handle any thickness from a 0.18-mm. /0.007 -in. ablative film to a 6.35-mm./0.25-in. flexo plate, and support all relevant technologies such as flat top dots. “This means that if a printer uses plates from any leading supplier—Flint, DuPont, Asahi, MacDermid, Toyobo, Toray etc.—it can continue without changing its normal working practices,” Lievens observed. ThermoFlexX imagers accept 1 bit TIFF files generated by any workflow, RIP or front end and will handle any innovative screens such as hybrid or surface screens. The screened 1 bit TIFF could be a single job file, which can be assembled on a template, or it could be an already assembled 1 bit TIFF plate. The devices can be integrated seamlessly into existing workflows such as those from Esko Graphics, Hybrid Software, Kodak and Agfa. 14 FLEXO | AUGUST 2014 PRESSING ISSUES Inside Flanders Field Museum Lievens demonstrated ThermoFlexX 80 and its Flextray. Outside Flanders Field Museum At Tyne Cot Cemetery Christopher Lievens describes elements on the ThermoFlexX line.